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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Jazz > TV > Ben Sidran - Cannes 1989/Ohne Filter (Go Jazz All Stars)

Ben Sidran Ė Jazz Legends + Go Jazz All Stars (Ohne Filter)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+/B-†††† Extras: C-/C+†††† Concerts: B-



I had never heard of Ben Sidran before and thought it would be interesting to allow myself to be introduced to a music artist for the first time ever strictly through the DVD-Video format.The result is a look at his work in two different capacities, with the 1989 Jazz Legends installment being his solo work and Go Jazz All Stars appearance on Ohne Filter on 3/30/98, nine years later.He is good in both cases and both performances last about an hour each.


The Jazz Legends concert has Sidran as ďthe Jazz talkerĒ who spouts humorous and intelligent philosophy while putting the audience on.He is good at this and the songs for this set includes:


1)     Letís Make A Deal

2)     Walking Blues

3)     Be Nice

4)     Song For A Sucker

5)     Piano Player

6)     Broad Daylight

7)     Mitsubishi Boy

8)     Face Your Fears

9)     Riffing With Biff


He is also a good showman and his vocals are decent for the genre, if not as streetwise as Donald Fagen (yes, the Steely Dan lead singer counts) and Michael Franks.He does this so well that it puts him above your average jazz lounge singer.He is able to stay focused and keep the focus on himself throughout, so it was all the more surprising how well he was able to integrate himself into the Go Jazz All Stars.


There he is, years later, still at the top of his game and with another great of almost totally different musicians.Here, everyone gets to showcase their talents and singer Georgie Fame also joins in.Unlike the laid-back atmosphere of the Cannes 1989 solo concert, the atmosphere of the Ohne Filter audience is more rowdy and actually comes to the show with the kind of higher expectations that we used to see more often that brought out the best in musicians and singers when people still cared about such things.The atmosphere is always high on all the Ohne Filter concerts.The songs in this set include:


1)     Mr. Iís Shuffle

2)     It Ainít Necessary

3)     Cool Cat Blues

4)     Parchman Farm

5)     One Kind Word

6)     That Note Costs A Dollar

7)     Hit The Road Jack

8)     Man & Machine

9)     Mumbles

10) Blues Medley


The result is something less personal and less comical than the Cannes 1989 set and this shows both Sidranís and Jazzís diversity.Though the former lounge-style set was decent, I tended to lean towards the Ohne Filter set more.This had to do with the content, but it also had technical presentation advantages.


The full frame PAL color video on both programs has limits, but offer good colors and decent definition for each of the time periods they were taped.The more recent ††Ohne Filter show looks a bit better.The sound differs more dramatically, as the Cannes 1989 set only offers Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo without any Pro Logic surrounds, though the concert was supposedly a digital recording.For the time, that would most likely be a 16 bit/44.1 kHz PCM taping.The newer Ohne Filter DVD has a fuller PCM CD 2.0 Stereo track, as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3, which plays better all around for here and both DVDs.There is somewhat the depth in the 5.1 here heard in the Mark King, Tony Joe White and the band Americaís DVD from the series; all reviewed elsewhere on this site, yet its age limits the depth.Besides repeating the same stereo cords plug, other DVDs in the series, and Ohne Filter producer interview, it has a biography of Sidran.The previous Cannes 1989 DVD offered a bio/Discography of Sidran that was shorter and also such information on two of his other performers.It also offered 26 previews from other Quantum Leap/MVD DVDs.


So I came away form this new kind of introduction impressed enough by Sidran to see what else he could pull off.Like the era of Music Videos before it, more and more music artists are going to have to get used to being introduced in front of the camera, now at full length.That is why the sound and picture on the DVDs they appear are so important.Neither DVD was totally state of the art, so there is room of an even better and certainly longer Sidran concert of some sort soon.If you like Jazz, you may want to get your hands on both and see for yourself.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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